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Author: Subject: Homemade and Repurposed Lab Gear
arkoma
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 Quote: Originally posted by 100PercentChemistry Recommend you buy the cd of the golden book of chemistry experiments for 10 bucks. The first chapter is about this. I personally like the close hanger texture holder

The book is available in the SM Library (Kudos to Annaandherdad)

I forgot my camera today, but I am getting further use out of parts from the Bunn-O-Matic coffee maker my store owner friend gave me.

1) First off, I swapped the burners around and have a two burner warmer,

2) The stainless steel screen that the water used to get poured through powders cottonwood charcoal WONDERFULLY, and I make it with,

3) The hot water reservoir is stainless steel and about 16 inches tall and a paint can lid fits over the top nicely. I pack it with cottonwood twigs and wire paint can lid on and then toss whole assembly on a fire in my backyard--when smoke quits coming out I have wonderful softwood charcoal that makes EXCELLENT black powder.

4) The filter basket has three little plastic lugs on the bottom that allow it to sit on a counter--they also fit PERFECTLY the inside diameter of my 250ml beakers for painless gravity filtrations.

 Quote: Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Mark Twain

Visiting my beloved Mojave
The Volatile Chemist
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Gas bubbler from Vacuum filtration flask, Vacuum stopper, test-tube stopper with a hole, and a very long pipette - one of my favorite innovations in regards to glassware. Also, using a vacuum filtration flask as the receiving vessel for an otherwise sealed distillation rig, allowing for vacuum pump attachment to a non-ground-glass distillation set-up...

quantumcorespacealchemyst
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 Quote: Originally posted by nux vomica If anyone is interested in a cheap and easy made flask heater I've been trying out a version that uses a 2000 watt heat gun as the heating source. It's made out of off cuts from work , the main barrel is 4" s/s tube 3" high, the rest is to suit the gun and mount the support tube ,there is a perf s/s disc inside the barrel to support the flask when you are setting up and to diffuse the hot air. I use a triac voltage controller to vary the fan speed and temperature and it will boil 250 mls of water in under 5 minutes Cheers nux. [Edited on 7-3-2016 by nux vomica]

that's great! i also think you can use a toaster oven with the door turned vertical with a opening in the door. there's a black and decker 4 slice toaster oven/fits a 9'' pizza for like $30 at walmart. it seems like it can fit most 14/20 glass but for 24/40, maybe 19/22, and up perhaps a larger toaster oven is more appropriate. the one i mentioned has two radiant heat tubes which are of the clear/translucent type, with no air flow. the larger types, like an oster oven, have some of those heating elements that look like carbon/graphite rods. i don't know which ones are more effective. the plus side of the oster oven i saw for around$60, i think, was that it had 4 elements so the flask would be surrounded by radiant heat, there was also a fan, so the air would circulate as well (only on one side though, so it would maybe heat one side of the flask unevenly). that could be modified though, probably. the plus side of a toaster oven seems to be the efficiency, and the temperature control. i got the black and decker one to try my hand at hacking a mantle together, before messing with microwaves, as it seems a better first step, with the microwave/electromagnetic wave shielding , and temperature control issues that could be encountered with it (although i guess that certain reactions depend on the microwaves themselves for reacting.). you can supposedly get up to 450degreesF (232.222degrees Celcius) with the pizza oven. i just saw that heat guns can get to like 800degrees Celcius, so i guess the heat guns are better, but not as efficient. i guess making a kiln oven/mantle with a temperature sensor/controller would be ideal.

also volatile chemist,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Glass-Celsius-thermometer-0-500-degr...
to 500degrees Celcius!!!

and

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Glass-Celsius-thermometer-0-300-degr...

to 300degrees Celcius
Magpie
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Mood: Chemistry: the subtle science.

Here's a simple idea for cheap weigh boats. I grabbed these muffin papers when my wife wasn't looking:

The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
CharlieA
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That is the epitome of "Why didn't I think of that?"! Good show.
National Hazard

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My wife had the same problem Magpie, now when she needs them she buys 2 packets, your wife will catch on too
brubei
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filtration for less than 15€, no problem of corrosion or flammability.

Sulaiman
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Aspirator, flask and funnel for 15 euro ?
where ... I want one.
brubei
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Sorry, I talked about the vaccum system instead the use of electric pump wich can be damaged by solvent or gaz

[Edited on 25-3-2016 by brubei]
Arbetarn
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Anybody has an idea on how to make a solvent stillhead?
chemrox
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What is a "close hanger?" Literacy issues annoy me. Anyway-new subject: I'm thinking of using a soxhlet for slow addition to a boiling solution. An alternative would be an addition funnel with glass wool at the outlet. Or wrapping the material (solid solution) in filter paper (thanks Bob). But the ideal apparatus would be a soxhlet modified so as to not siphon i.e. straight through. I have several soxhlets and one is about the right size. Here's the problem; I would have to collapse the siphon tube. I'm afraid of the delta-T cracking the apparatus.
edited to correct misspelling

[Edited on 30-3-2016 by chemrox]

"Ignorance is the Mother of Devotion." — Robert Burton.
j_sum1

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Mood: Metastable, and that's good enough.

I just worked out that I can jury-rig an acceptable approximation to a Dean-Stark trap using the glassware I already have with the addition of a male-male ground glass adapter.

From the bottom:
Male-male connector
Claisen adapter (upside down, curved sidearm portion attached to previous part)
Reflux condenser (probably a liebig) again upside down

Lower straight through portion of claisen can have a regular straight through stopcock attached.

This setup has three joints orientated upside down so I would grease properly and use keck clips. But, hey, nice to know it can be done.

100PercentChemistry
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The cd version(8 dollars on Amazon) of the golden book if chemsitry experiments has a section on homemade lab gear.
The Volatile Chemist
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The Annotated Do It Yourself Science Laboratory is a pretty good resource too.

100PercentChemistry
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A ring stand with a clamp can be a good camera holder if you don't have one.
battoussai114
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 Quote: Originally posted by 100PercentChemistry A ring stand with a clamp can be a good camera holder if you don't have one.

Remember: there is no commutativity in lab gear, a camera holder can't be a good ring stand with clamp.

Batoussai.
RogueRose
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Imporvised Buchner Funnel

I need something I can use for vacuum filtration and a Buchner funnel the size I need is kind of pricey and I have a tendency to break things I need so I came up with an idea I want to run by you guys to see if it should work.

I took a 3" CPVC endcap (hole size is 3.5" actually) and drilled some holes in 1/16" ABS sheet that is cut to sit in the endcap. The endcap has a ledge about 1/8" from where the curvature starts on the end and the filter plate sits on this. I am not certain if I need to glue the plate to the cap but I suspect I will get better results should I do this.

Now the cap has no hole in the end ATM but I plan on drilling a hole and putting a plastic nipple on it sunk into the plastic. As the end is concave, a hole in the center, counter-sunk, should allow liquid to flow down the hole easily. A hose (4-12") will attach to the collection vessel which is an air-tight pipe with a port to connect the vacuum.

Now my biggest question is the capacity of the funnel. Curently there is about 300-350ml capacity using just the endcap. I can glue on a container to act as a larger holding resevoir but I'm not sure if that causes a problem with filtering solids (large mass blocking vacuum filtration..?)

j_sum1

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Mood: Metastable, and that's good enough.

Leaving it unglued makes for easier cleaning. I would leave it like that if it functions ok.
Looks like a good bit of gear. Drilling of all those holes looks tedious. I see no reason why your plan wouldn't work -- subject to the limitations of PVC as a material of course.

XeonTheMGPony
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great idea. very nice work.

As to the depth theoretically there is no limit depending on how long and powerful the vacuum pump is, but for practicability I'd wager there is a formula for the bottom surface area per given height.

For simplicities sake, I'd leave it as is and divide the batches.

for your next one I'd keep the holes centered around the middle and leave more dead space around the outer edges say 5 to 10mm or so.
Ozone
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Pretty cool. Avoid holes at the edges, though. These will allow for channeling of sample through a paper or celite pre-coat. I'd also watch the size of the holes. If they are too big, your paper will suck through them and break.

If you want to semi-temporarily seat your filter support (and seal those holes at the edges), some RTV silicone would work well (it's fairly inert when cured, stable at higher temperatures for hot-filtration, and can be cut loose with a blade).

O3

[Edited on 4-5-2016 by Ozone]

-Anyone who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
--Albert Einstein
RogueRose
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Thanks for the replies. I plan on filling in the outer holes with some glue of some type. I drilled them out before I knew the inner diameter of the circle so all in all, I stayed pretty well inside of the outer perimeter!

The holes took about 15 mins to drill with one of those electric screwdrivers with a chuck bit attached.

I'm thinking of adding an O-ring to either the plate or the bottom ring of the end cap. If I can make it perfectly flat I should be able to remove the plates yet allow them to seal well when in place.

[Edited on 4-5-2016 by RogueRose]
Daffodile
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I did this with a cut off soda bottle and a yogurt container, the biggest problem is connecting the body with the 'sieve'. Leaks open constantly, epoxy is the shit.
Dr.Bob
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That is a neat idea, and might be good for teachers who need lots of cheap simple apparatus. They will be fine with water but not many organic solvents, as even methanol will leach out the plasticizers from PVC.

They do sell plastic buchners, I have found a few over the years, but they are made of polypropylene or polyethylene, so those will stand up well to solvents, unlike PVC. It is always nice to make your own stuff, but for some things, there are already really inexpensive solutions. And real Buchner funnels are actually pretty inexpensive, especially used, but they are heavy and thus pricey to ship, and break if dropped.
CharlieA
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Clever idea Rose! You might try to find a polypropylene or HDPE bottle to modify. For example, milk bottles are HDPE, although the wall thickness is small. The RTV silicone also sounds like a good idea. Let us know how your funnels work.
careysub
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 Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose I plan on filling in the outer holes with some glue of some type.

What you want to do, to fill in holes, is glue a piece of PVC over them with PVC cement, or else dissolve PVC into PVC cement until it won't dissolve any more, then fill the hole with that.

PVC, when cemented together, forms a single PVC piece as solid as if it came from a factory that way.

PVC is a low surface energy material (only twice that of Teflon) and glues hardly stick to it at all, unless you flame treat it (pass a propane flame over so that the shiny surface turns dull temporarily).
Texium (zts16)